Now that Taylor Swift’s 10th album, Midnights, is out, fans are more convinced than ever that it’s connected to her seventh album, Lover. In fact, some think the two could be sister albums and that she may have first teased Midnights back in 2019.
To start explaining this theory, know that Taylor included mention of the album’s intent when announcing the record in August. She said Midnights is “a collection of music written in the middle of the night” that tells “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life.” So, remember, Midnights is a nighttime concept album.
Now, onto dates. No, not the food. The numbered days in a month — Taylor loves them. Just days after Taylor dropped Lover in August 2019, she told Entertainment Weekly the record was originally going to be titled Daylight, which is also the name of the LP’s closing track; however, Taylor felt Lover fit the album’s vibe better, which she described as “aesthetically very daytime” and contrasting with her previous album, 2017’s Reputation.
That record, she told EW, was “all cityscape, darkness, full swamp witch.” So darkness, which is famously what comes at night. Because Taylor is outspoken about dropping easter eggs into her work, some of her fans quickly connected the dots that the opposite of daylight (Lover) is nighttime, meaning Lover could be interpreted as the foil to Midnights.
TikTok user @narcolepsyswift put this all together in an Aug. 29 video, which has since received over a million views. The user presents several additional plausible connections between Lover and Midnights, including a telling comment Taylor dropped while appearing on The Tonight Show in November 2021.
“How far is too far in advance?” Taylor asked when talking about her love of placing easter eggs in her work. “Can I hint at something three years in advance?”
What is three years before 2022? 2019, of course.
So the argument being made here that the years and aesthetic comparisons between Lover and Midnights could prove this sister-records theory; however, there is an even more intriguing reason to connect the two albums.
Twitter user @taylorstoebeans noted that the final lyrics on “Daylight,” Lover’s last song, are: “I wanna be defined by the things that I love / Not the things I hate / Not the things I'm afraid of, I'm afraid of / Or the things that haunt me in the middle of the night. / I, I just think that you are what you love.”
So, Taylor ended Lover essentially saying that she doesn’t want to fear the night anymore.
Of course, this recalls Taylor’s mission statement about Midnights. Remember what she said when announcing the album? “We lie awake in love and in fear, in turmoil and in tears,” she began her statement. This could be interpreted as Taylor elaborating on her fear of the night (or possible insomnia) that she hinted at in “Daylight.”
In an Oct. 3 Instagram video, Taylor also hinted Midnights would explore dark themes by revealing her track “Anti-Hero” would dive into the things she hates about herself. Taylor further teased her songwriting process for Midnights in a series of videos posted on her album’s Spotify pre-save page on Oct. 18. According to Billboard, during the videos, Taylor revealed the concept of self-loathing helped inspire her record.
This directly contrasts her Lover album, which included lyrics about self-love. For example, her record’s first single, “ME!” is all about learning to love what makes you unique.
Twitter user @gilleechi even pointed out that the chorus to “ME!” is the total opposite of “Anti-Hero.” “‘I promise that you'll never find another like ME’ becomes ‘it’s ME, hi, I’m the problem it’s me,’” they tweeted. “So the whole Midnights being the other side of Lover (originally called Daylight is 💯💯💯💯.”
Interestingly, Taylor’s Lover album also features several songs about love and friendship, while Midnights has songs about heartbreak and loneliness, though all four are constant themes through her work. “Midnights is lover’s sister she’s the heartbreak and the breakup,” @folklorevrse tweeted.
Taylor also appeared to bring back the pink telephone from her “ME!” and “Lover” music videos in her Midnights Mayhem With Me TikTok series and her Oct. 16 Instagram video revealing her album release week schedule. This only added to the theories Lover and Midnights are sister albums.
While the theory is pretty convincing, Taylor has not confirmed the connections between her two albums herself, meaning they can’t be considered more than just fan speculation at this point. Knowing Taylor’s style of letting her work speak for itself, this theory might be one that is never officially confirmed.
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